The Heart of the King: Book 1

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

heart-king

Book: The Heart of the King: Book 1

Author: John A. Meier

Illustrator: George Vrbanic

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1719065887

ISBN-10: 1719065888

Related website(s): http://www.johnameier.com (author), http://www.gvrbanic.wix.com/gvrbanicillustrator.com (illustrator)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 12-16 and up

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Meier, John A.  The Heart of the King: Book 1 (published in 2018 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).  David is a young man, around fifteen years old, who lives outside the village of Bellor in Havenwold with his parents, two sisters, and seven older brothers.  His father is Jesse, and Jesse’s grandparents, Boaz and Ruth also live nearby.  Havenwold is at war with the tri-nations of Soarind, Strium, and Droth.  David’s older brothers are in the army, so David is left to tend the sheep, during which time he kills both a lion and a bear.  The Steward of Havenwold is Saul, but he has been disobedient to the King and is now rejected, so Samuel, the King’s messenger, is sent to anoint someone to replace him.  Who is the new chosen one?  How will he react to being selected?  And what will happen to him?

The back of the book says, “The Heart of the King is a historical fiction series that follows David on a heroic rescue mission planned from the very beginning of time.”  I hesitate to call it historical fiction because that genre is usually set in real geographical places and actual time periods, whereas the events of this book take place in the fictional realm of “Otherworld,” and the author plays around a little with the chronology to bring in the stories of Boaz and Ruth, and Samson and Delilah, and even a reference to Mordecai and Esther.  But at the same time, I don’t want to identify it simply as fantasy, because it is based on true events.  Could we create a category of “historical fantasy”?  Perhaps it is better just to say that “it is a Christian adventure series based on the life of David and other Old Testament characters.”

In addition to chronicling the life of David and filling in the gaps of the Bible stories so beautifully, author John A. Meier pictures what might have been going on behind the scenes with a unique perspective on the spiritual warfare as Lucifer and his Fiends (Demons) work to destroy David while the King’s Guardians (Angels) are there to help him every step of the way.  His goal is to communicate theological truth through the characters’ lives and point the reader to the great story about God’s love, grace, redemption, and power.  I agree with the reviewer who noted, “I could not put this book down….The characters are so well written and relatable.”  This book is Volume I of a projected series.  We can certainly gain much from the life of David, who is referred to as “a man after God’s own heart.”

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